Here, we ask how neural stem cells (NSCs) transition in the developing neocortex from a rapidly to a slowly proliferating state, a process required to maintain lifelong stem cell pools. We identify LRIG1, known to regulate receptor tyrosine kinase signaling in other cell types, as a negative regulator of cortical NSC proliferation. LRIG1 is expressed in murine cortical NSCs as they start to proliferate more slowly during embryogenesis and then peaks postnatally when they transition to give rise to a portion of adult NSCs. Constitutive or acute loss of Lrig1 in NSCs over this developmental time frame causes stem cell expansion due to increased proliferation. LRIG1 controls NSC proliferation by associating with and negatively regulating the epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR). These data support a model in which LRIG1 dampens the stem cell response to EGFR ligands within the cortical environment to slow their proliferation as they transition to postnatal adult NSCs.
Keywords: EGFR; neocortex; neural stem cells; proliferation; quiescence.
Copyright © 2020 The Authors. Published by Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.